Monday, August 30, 2010

The North Coast Trail

We're back in Port Hardy... but not for long. Tomorrow we head out on the ferry to Bella Coola. The North Coast Trail was great... beach camping most nights, crazy steep and muddy trails, getting rained on, the sun coming out, and hardly seeing another soul out there. A typically rugged west coast time. Here are a few photos:

Lina in the rain... straight off the boat

Crossing Skinner Creek... low tide!

A zombie on the North Coast Trail

Heading for Cape Subtil

Shuttleworth Bight laundry
Shuttleworth Bight locals
Nissen Bight kitchen
Lina (not) making friends with the birds
Nissen Bight beach furniture

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

En Route

We left Egmont around 12.00pm on Sunday, saying our goodbyes and leaving our wedding guests behind to go off mountain biking, or just head home. Our plan was to head for Comox, wth Marc and Nikki providing the support vehicle (they were going that way home anyway). It was a real achallenge to stay awake on the 2 ferries after such an incredible, but frantic time both leading up to and on the weekend itself. Everything had turned out great... even if a few things weren't quite what we planned, and a few other things had never got planned at all.

Marc and Nikki's house has always felt like a sanctuary to me... and it was the same on tis evening. We ate leftovers and chatted for few hours until none of us could stay awake any longer. Ths was one of the best night's sleep I've had in a long time... on the wonky futon with Pippa the dog providing alarm-clock services in the way only she can.

We had a few last minute things to take care of in Comox... like finding some bike shoes for Lina (not the only thing we forgot to pack in the hectic lead up to the wedding). Luckily for us, Hefe at the wonderful Simon's Cycles came through with a used pari of shoes which fit Lina pretty well. Yet another piece of good luck in an amazingly lucky streak. Equipped with shoes and toothpaste we rode out from Comox with Nikki providing a bicycle escort as far as Merville... then e were off on our adventure. We decided to head on to Sayward, and we knew there was good food to be hd at the Cable House and the weather as still perfect. We even got a surprise roadside visit from Joan who spotted us on the highay as she was driving back to Comox. We had a few cake stops along the way and made itto Sayward before the rain.

Day 2 saw us heading for "Wossvegas" (Woss) for lunch and then past Nimpkinish Lake, which was tantalizingly close and watery, but we failed to find a way down to swim. Bah. Instead we rolled to Port MacNeill and had another great night's sleep. I think it's going to take me this whole trip to catch up!

Today we arrived in Port Hardy. I have purchased Port Hardy's finest sleeping bag (yes, I know forgetting that for a camping trip is an elementary error. Lina and I have been sharing the past 2 nights... which wasn't a romantic honeymoon plan of mine). Now we're fed and about to head to the water taxi office to pick up our supply package for the hike on the North Coast Trail starting tomorrow. Exciting stuff!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Planning that route, we're gonna take real soon.

Lina and I are off on an adventure. Firstly the emotional adventure of getting married on Saturday... and then the kind of adventure we are more used to. Biking from Egmont to Port Hardy, hiking the North Coast Trail... ferry to Bella Coola... biking to Wells... and canoeing the Bowron Lakes Circuit. We'll be back around the 21st September. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


This weekend something happened that I never expected. I had a Stag Party. In Whistler. The traditional veil of secrecy has been drawn over what went on, but it was appropriately ridiculous, whilst remaining classy...

There was plenty of this kind of thing

Some of this...

...and plenty of other fun. Paul made a beautiful story of it all here.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A local adventure (with a side of stand-up / sit-down paddle boarding)

A few weeks ago we had planned a paddle up Indian Arm with a group of friends but for one reason and another, it never happened. This weekend brought us some much-needed rain and led to a lack of enthusiasm for doing... anything. We biked into town (got a bit wet), met some friends for coffee, biked home (got soaked)... then decided to go paddling anyway. Lina's vessel of choice was unorthodox - the Starboard racing paddle-board she's been borrowing lately. I borrowed our friend Gary's Necky Looksha IV, which turned out to be one of the most fun sea kayaks I've paddled.

Heading out into the mist

The paddle out was fast. Following wind and waves were fun for me in the kayak... but when it got choppy Lina needed to explore "sit-down paddle-boarding" on the unstable board using our paddle float as a seat. I think we might have just re-invented the canoe. Whatever it was, it worked well. We cruised into Granite Falls only 2 1/2 hours after leaving Deep Cove and set up our tent and tarp to keep ourselves dry. Practice for our honeymoon BC-bicycle-hike-canoe adventure perhaps? Only 2 weeks to go until we will be married and living out of bike panniers (one of those two things will be temporary). The rain held off most of the evening and we went and had a look at the falls themselves. The water was low, despite the rain, so we could climb up and get a good look.

The camp site seems to have been something else at one time with remnants of an old dock, a lighthouse, bits of asphalt, and logging(?) machinery here and there. I need to read some history.

Me, wearing my lighthouse costume.

The morning was beautifully calm, but didn't stay that way for long. Our journey home via the rather flash Wigwam Inn (unfortunately member's only according to the signs) took us into the wind and the tide. The journey home took about twice as long as the way there, but we didn't have to resort to towing the paddle-board at least. Was Lina the first SUPer to get to Granite Falls and back? Who knows... but it was a great way to spend a wet weekend.

Looking back up Indian Arm from Granite Falls

Calm Morning

Homeward bound

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

...the whip of thunder and the wind's dark moan up the heavens, make it rain!

To celebrate my new Canadian-ness we went up to Pemberton for the weekend. Life in Canada (in the summer at least) for me is all about riding bikes in the forest, and swimming in lakes. Pemberton is a good place to make both of these things happen.

On Saturday Paul, Angie, Kala, Meaghan, Lina, and I ride Resurrection, a trail that I first rode with Jacek a couple of years ago. A truly evil hot logging-road climb led to a a dust-bowl descent. As Kala said "It's like riding downhill on the beach".

Paul and Kala on Ressurection

Overhead shot of Lina and Paul from my tree-stump perch

There was a lot of post-ride eating, some swimming in the river... and digging of emergency water-drainage channels around Paul's tent as we were treated to a spectacular thunderstorm and torrential rain. Luckily the rain's enthusiasm didn't last.

On Sunday I had a date with the NIMBY50 course (part of it) as I didn't get to ride it last time we were here.  Despite somehow hacking my knee open (riding uphill), we made it to the paraglider launch and launched ourselves in the direction of Overnight Sensation. Dust replaced May's mud and we had a great run.

Lina on Overnight Sensation

The gang thinned-out on Sunday night and Kala, Lina and I were left to ride Kill Me Thrill Me on our way home through Whistler. We all had tired legs, but that trail had plenty to wake you up.

Kala on the KMTM slabs

Paul took this one of me... which I like a lot